Aug 31 2014

through the looking glass

mirror morning silence
on the break of september

reflecting every definition
of impermanence

we whisper together
in the corners of summer

not ready to come out of hiding
not ready to escape our escape

climbing each other in a tangle of mime

rain drips from my shoulders
and you trace a path

with a broken-cut
bent branch finger

turning back time
and the last fallen leaf

from the tree
of itinerant shade

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Joining in today over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads,
where Kerry has been lovely enough to feature
some of my photos in a poetry challenge.
Thanks, Kerry!

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Aug 30 2014

the language
of flowers {11}

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always, always

wear your heart

on your sleeve

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(even when it’s tiny and hard to see)

 


Aug 28 2014

the mysteries of repose

August has been a busy month. A month of puzzle-piecing bits of time together, trying to get it all done.

My living room is freshly painted, though not yet completely put back together, and the back of the house has a new coat of paint as well.

There’s been jewelry making, getting ready for our show next weekend.

There has been work, and that’s always a good thing.

And there has been writing. Every morning, writing and writing and writing on a story that’s been with me for over a year. I start each day with this story, and it’s become a part of my life. A part of my life that feels real, these people don’t feel like characters, they feel like family. Their story keeps making me cry.

There hasn’t been much repose, but winter is coming, and then there will be nights before the fire.

A is for August, and also accomplishment. A few small ones, at least.

My garden, well, my garden is a mess. That same beautiful mess it becomes every year at this time, the moment when I throw my hands in the air and let it be messy.

Outside my window, the forest of kiss me over the garden gate has an understory of love lies bleeding.

The snails keep whispering.

And that is my fairy tale.

 

 


Aug 26 2014

methuselah’s last stand

if i could walk away from the answers
my footprints would fill with more questions

i am held in place by the harpooned taproot
of my own bark-coated existence

but the leaves i toss into the wind
have every right to fly

the ground you walk on is made from the crust
of today’s leftover uncertainty

nothing is real but faith and
i believe in the sun
burning through my temporary cloak

winter is meant to reveal what we’re made of
and you think
it should be more complicated

forever is time’s long lost daughter
singing to the sailor of finite

what you see is only an echo

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Aug 23 2014

the language
of flowers {10}

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that old dress

still looks gorgeous

on you

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Aug 21 2014

and the winner is…

Thanks so much to all of you for your lovely comments and your kind words. You really know how to warm a girl’s heart!

I wish I could send every single one of you a prize, but today’s lucky winner is:

Beth!

(I will be contacting you via email for details on where to send your gifts–your tree frog story really made me smile!)

I am sending my gratitude to all of you, it means so much that you took the time to read and comment–so many of you are kindred spirits, and it’s always so nice to know that we aren’t alone in our quest for ordinary magic.

I do have an ordinary magic group board over on Pinterest that I had started last year. If any of you are interested in joining so that you can add your own pins, just send me an email with your Pinterest name and I will send you an invitation. It might be a fun way to keep in touch.

And keep following the Bella Grace Blog Hop here for more chances to win a free issue!

xoxo


Aug 19 2014

armour

you gave me a shield to stand behind
sharp edged and burnished spike

for protection, you said

and i laughed because
you were always running
and i was always lost

at least it looked that way
when the off center sun came
shining through varicose leaves
of false forgiveness

and i raised my spear
but you said no, like this

and handed me a polished stone
of blue lace agate tied with twine

i held it up
to the center of everything

hoping for music

but somehow silence
was the perfect fit

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Aug 16 2014

the language
of flowers {9}

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let’s

grow old

together

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Aug 14 2014

bella grace:
an ordinary artist

I am so honored to have my poem “make-believe” published in Stampington and Company’s gorgeous new magazine, Bella Grace: Life’s a Beautiful Adventure.

To launch this first issue, Stampington set up a blog hop, as a way to introduce some of the featured artists and also to offer you a chance to win your very own copy! It really is a gorgeous publication, more book than magazine, filled with beauty and grace and words from so many fabulous artists.

In addition to the free issue, I’m going to send the lucky winner your choice of any 8×10 print from my etsy shop, and a pair of silver earrings as well! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post before midnight on Wednesday, August 20th. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, August 21st.

Stampington will be updating the blog hop page daily, so be sure to hop over and check out the other artist’s posts for even more chances to win a copy of Bella Grace.

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an ordinary artist,

an ordinary life

The other day, I was painting outside… not art, but my house. Because it needed to be done and it was a perfect-painting-weather day and autumn will be here soon enough.

I was working away on the back entryway, repainting the door my dog insists on scratching when he wants in, and I heard a sound in the stones behind me (we have a pea gravel patio area). When I turned, I saw a very large toad hopping his way across the stones, heading right for the spot where I stood, like he was in a big hurry to get there. After he made it to the rectangle of sidewalk just outside the door, he stopped. And then, keeping one eye on me, slowly made his way over to the pair of sneakers my husband keeps tucked beneath a bench for when it’s lawn mowing time. I watched as my new friend climbed into one of the sneakers and settled in. Apparently, this is where he lives.

Later, as I was painting along, I had to move the bench and in doing so, scared Mr. Toad out of his hiding spot. Before I could stop him, he hopped inside the door I’d left open, and then hopped/fell his way down the basement stairs. And then I couldn’t find him. But two days later, just as I was throwing a load of wash into the dryer, there he was, hopping right up to me again, asking to be rescued. And so, Mr. Toad was set free.

This is my life.

And I am an artist.

When I was young, I thought being an artist somehow meant being special. Weird in a good way, extraordinary, or at the very least, different.

But I was young (and therefore somewhat foolish) and if there is one thing that life has taught me, it’s that I am just like everyone else. A perfectly ordinary woman living a tiny little life in a tiny little house.

If you met me at a party, you’d be quite bored. As an introvert, I’m not good at being charming or social, I don’t dress like an artist, I don’t look like an artist, I usually don’t even tell people I am an artist (unless, of course, they ask). I live in a small town in a very rural setting and my life centers around my family, nature and my garden, the seasons, my art. There’s no exciting city or cultural life going on here. In fact, most weeks, I leave my house 3 or 4 times total, and at least two of those excursions involve food shopping. I call myself a hermit as a joke, but the truth is, I’m pretty much a hermit.

Yet here I am, making my living as an artist. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy life, but somewhere along the way, ordinary magic found me–when I wasn’t even looking. I planted a garden and fell in love with the sky. My pencil found its way back to the page. My camera became a daily accessory. These days, I mark the passage of time by charting the seasons, and the friend I speak to most often is a mockingbird. (I could say it’s a cat, but I’m more inclined to call them family).

I spend my days making something from nothing, and there is no other word for that but magic.

A client needs a brochure, and from a jumble of words and thoughts and half-ideas comes the piece they pass on to their customers. I plant a tiny seed, and a few months later I have a flower. A pile of beads and silver becomes a lovely bracelet. A blank screen with a blinking cursor turns into a poem about love and life and supermarket flowers. A camera and a quiet moment become my latest favorite picture. A refrigerator filled with vegetables becomes the perfect pot of soup.

It’s all magic. It’s all so ordinary.

And it’s all art.

I sit outside when I can and listen to the world. Where I live, that means bird song and tractor sound, grasshopper whirs and wind in the poplars, hummingbird wings and toad feet on gravel.

But I am a busybody when it comes to art. There is never enough time and there are always words waiting to be written, weeds needing to be pulled, birds with new stories to tell. I do the best I can to strike a balance, but most days, I wouldn’t say I’ve succeeded. Most days, I work long hours on the work that pays the bills, and just a few on the work of my heart. But I always squeeze that time in, making it part of my daily existence, part of my ordinary, part of who I am. Art is what keeps me whole and centered and I have learned that, for me, there is no other way to be.

Art is life. Not some glamorous, mysterious pursuit. Nor some extraordinary gift. Not something to be kept in a box, only taken out on special occasions.

Art is the rain dripping from the tips of my favorite flower, the steam rising up from my first cup of tea, the pattern of my footsteps on this worn wooden floor. It’s washing dishes and making beds and painting scratched up doors. And it’s showing up, every day, to do the work. Again and again. The work of living.

Life is, indeed, a beautiful adventure. And ordinary magic is everywhere you turn.

In fact, some days it comes hopping right up to you and makes its home there, at your feet.

All you have to do is say, welcome.

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Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win!

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Aug 12 2014

assorted chaos
in the realm of reality

the water keeps fighting to get in
and i am out of buckets

not learning how to swim
feels like a mistake

now

too late for fixing
and too soon for proving

but already my feet are wet
and the water falls down the steps
with a lion-headed roar

the other day you brought sand bags
built me a fence
to keep the outside out
and the inside in

and that was love

these four walls
are my haven and my prison

and i paint them all pretty
coat them with pictures

but i’m always staring
out the windows

at the empty places

in the sky moon harbor
my hope sloshes home from

it’s cloudy today and the grey
washes in

floating past my knees
in a ribbon of revelation
on its way to almost forgotten

the hummingbird at my window
flies right through the rain
her wings turned to jewels
by habit

and the hollow fueled echo

of hunger

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